Madagascar

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Eco-friendly travel guide to Madagascar advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to travel in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Madagascar, Africa.


  • Air quality: 2.9 / 5
  • Bus connections: 3.3 / 5
  • Train connections: 3.6 / 5
  • Hitchhiking: 3.1 / 5
  • National parks: 4.4 / 5
  • Outdoor activities: 3.7 / 5
  • Locals' English level: 3.5 / 5
  • Safety: 3.3 / 5
  • Accommodation: US$41 - $150
  • Budget per day: US$66 - $217

Responsible Travel

Traveling responsibly while in Madagascar will go a long way in preserving the country's natural resources. We need to engage in environmental-friendly practices when we visit the country so as to protect and improve the country's environment. Some of these practices include :

Using water responsibly

Disposing garbage at designated points

Using public transport more often

Seeking environmental-conscious accommodations

Promoting the local economy


Air Quality and Pollution

According to WHO criteria, Madagascar's air quality is somewhat dangerous; the most recent data shows that the country's annual mean PM2.5 concentration is 23 g/m3, which is more than the recommended level of 10 g/m3.

Traffic emissions, food processing, vehicle manufacture, the petroleum sector, and a reliance on solid biomass (e.g., wood, crops) for cooking are all factors that contribute to Madagascar's poor air quality. According to available data, Antananarivo has persistently high levels of air pollution.


Respect the Culture

The Malagasy people's origins in Southeast Asia and East Africa are reflected in Madagascar's culture. Arabs, Indians, British, French, and Chinese settlers all left their mark. Madagascar's most famous instrument, the valiha, is a bamboo tube zither that was brought to the island by early settlers from southern Borneo and looks very similar to those seen in Indonesia and the Philippines today. In terms of symbolism and structure, traditional houses in Madagascar are comparable to those in southern Borneo, with a rectangular plan, a peaked roof, and a central support pillar. Tombs are culturally significant in many regions, reflecting a widespread veneration of the ancestors. They are typically built of more durable materials, such as stone, and have more elaborate decoration than living rooms. Madagascar's national clothing, the woven lamba, has evolved into a varied and refined art form, with silk production and weaving dating back to the island's early settlers.

Malagasy cuisine reflects the Southeast Asian cultural influence, with rice served at every meal and usually complemented by one of a number of tasty vegetable or meat dishes. The spiritual significance of zebu cattle and their representation of their owner's wealth, both traditions originating on the African mainland, demonstrate African influence. Cattle rustling, which began as a rite of passage for young men in Madagascar's plains areas, where the largest herds of cattle are kept, has evolved into a dangerous and sometimes deadly criminal enterprise as herdsmen in the southwest try to defend their cattle with traditional spears against increasingly armed professional rustlers.

Malagasy is a Malayo-Polynesian language that is widely spoken throughout the island. Malagasy dialects, which are mostly mutually intelligible, can be divided into two groups: eastern Malagasy, spoken in the eastern forests and mountains, including Antananarivo's Merina dialect, and western Malagasy, spoken in the western coastal plains. When France took control of Madagascar during the colonial period, French became the official language. Malagasy and French were designated as the official languages of the Malagasy Republic in the country's first national constitution, written in 1958. Madagascar is a francophone country, which means that French is mainly spoken as a second language by the educated people and is utilized for international communication.

The mandoliny and kabosy owe their existence to the introduction of the guitar by early Arab or European seafarers, the ubiquitous djembe originated in mainland Africa, and the valiha—the bamboo tube zither considered the national instrument of Madagascar—evolved directly from an earlier form of zither carried with the first Austronesian set of instruments. Thus, Madagascar has a rich musical legacy, reflected in dozens of regional musical styles such as beach salegy and highland hiragasy, which liven up village gatherings, local dance floors, and national airways. In addition, Malagasy music has been influenced by musical traditions from Southeast Asia, Africa, Arabia, England, France, and the United States as successive waves of migrants have settled on the island.


Top 10 Places to Visit

Ambohimanga. It is a hill and historic fortified royal village (rova) in Madagascar, some 24 kilometers northeast of Antananarivo, the capital city. The hill and the rova that stands atop it are regarded as the most important and best-preserved landmark of the precolonial Merina Kingdom and the most significant symbol of the Merina people's cultural identity. Several important kings' homes and burial places are located within the ancient walled settlement. One of Imerina's twelve sacred hills, the place is associated with strong feelings of national identity and has retained its spiritual and sacred character for at least 400 years, both in ritual practice and public imagination. It is still a holy place for pilgrims from Madagascar and other countries.

Tsingy Rouge. It is also known as Red Tsingy. The red laterite in this stone formation was created by the erosion of the Irodo River in the Diana region of northern Madagascar. It's about 60 kilometers south of Antsiranana, close to the town of Sadjoavato.

Lokobe Strict Reserve. It is a wildlife reserve in Madagascar's northern region. It is situated on the southeastern side of Nosy Be, a Madagascar-based island. It's famed for its stunning Nosy Be panther chameleon and black lemurs.

Nosy Mangabe. It's a small island reserve off the coast of Maroantsetra, Madagascar, near Antongil Bay. It forms the more significant section of the Masoala National Park complex and can only be reached by small boat. It is a tropical rainforest preserve and a sanctuary for the aye-aye lemur (Daubentonia madagascariensis). It's close enough to Maroantsetra for a day trip, but witnessing the nocturnal aye-aye requires an overnight stay.

Andasibe-Mantadia National Park. In eastern Madagascar, it's a protected rainforest area. The Analamazaotra Reserve, which harbors the ample indri lemur, is recognized for its loud song. Native species like the vast Parson's chameleon, as well as rare orchids and ferns, make up the park's diverse biodiversity. The trails wind their way through lush woodland, across lakes, and past the Sacred Waterfall.

Lake Anosy. It's a man-made lake about two miles south of Haute-Ville, Madagascar's capital city. Ampefiloha is on the west side of the lake, Isoraka is on the northwest side, and Mahamasina is on the north side.

Queen's Palace. It is an imperial palace complex (rova) in Madagascar that housed the monarchs of the Kingdom of Imerina in the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as the kings of the Kingdom of Madagascar in the 19th century. In contrast to the political prominence of the Rova in the capital, its counterpart is the neighboring fortified settlement of Ambohimanga, which served as the kingdom's spiritual center. The Rova is the highest point of Analamanga, formerly the tallest of Antananarivo's several hills, and is located in the central highland city of Antananarivo. Roughly 1610 or 1625, Merina monarch Andrianjaka, who reigned Imerina from around 1610 to 1630, is thought to have taken Analamanga from a Vazimba monarch and built the site's first fortified royal building. Up to the monarchy's demise in 1896, successive Merina kings ruled from the property, constantly rebuilding, remodeling, or building royal structures to fit their demands.

Lemurs' Park. It is also known as Parc de lémuriens à Madagascar. It's a 12-acre botanical garden and lemur habitat 22 kilometers southwest of Antananarivo. Laurent Amouric and Maxime Allorge started it in the year 2000. The park features more than 70 indigenous plant species and is home to the majority of Madagascar's nine lemur species. The park has been commisioned to the public and includes guided tours, as well as conventional facilities such as a gift shop and a restaurant. A private park shuttle can take visitors between downtown Antananarivo and Lemurs' Park.

Parque nacional de Ankarafantsika. It is a national park in the Boeny Region of Madagascar, close to Andranofasika. Majunga, 115 kilometers north of the park, is the closest city. The climate of Ankarafantsika is predominantly tropical. The Sakalava people are the majority ethnic group that lives and farms in this area. The park is mostly woodland, and the tree species are typical of dry tropical forests. The big-footed mouse (Macrotarsomys ingens) lives in the park and is not known anywhere else. More than 800 species are found on the island, many of which are peculiar to Madagascar.

The Botanical and Zoological Garden of Tsimbazaza. The name can be shortened to Tsimbazaza Zoo. It is a zoological and botanical garden in the Tsimbazaza neighborhood of Antananarivo, Madagascar, immediately north of the National Assembly building. With several unusual species on exhibit, it is believed to have "the finest collection of Malagasy wildlife." The zoo features a museum with tribal carvings and extinct mega vertebrates' skeletons, including elephant birds, pygmy hippos, and giant lemurs. It also houses Madagascar's largest herbarium (herbarium code TAN), which comprises around 80,000 plant specimens. The WWF marked its tenth year in Madagascar by establishing an environmental teaching center in the zoo in November 1989.


Explore

Madagascar is one of the most fun and exciting tourist destinations to visit in Africa. Lots of attractions and entertainment are in store for you. You can take sensational pictures at the best tourist sites in the country such as Tsingy Rouge and Lake Anosy. You can visit various museums in the country so as to learn about the rich history of the country and its people. You can also visit some of the restaurants spread out in major cities in the country. You will get to enjoy local cuisines that the country has to offer.


City Parks

Berenty Reserve. It's a small gallery forest reserve along the Mandrare River in Madagascar's deep south, located in the semi-arid spiny forest ecoregion. The late primatologist Alison Jolly (who pioneered the research in Berenty), other researchers, and students have visited Berenty to conduct fieldwork on lemurs for more than three decades. In addition, visitors who want to witness some of Madagascar's rare bird species, including owls and couas, go to the reserve.

Parc Ivoloina. It is a recreational and educational zoological park near Toamasina, Madagascar, that houses lemurs, reptiles, amphibians, and other local Malagasy animals. Visitors can explore the wildlife exhibits, orchards, an education center, model agricultural station, historic ruins, and nine kilometers of hiking trails on their own or with a guide. An excursion in a dugout canoe is also possible. A sampling can be done in a single day, or guests can book numerous days and stay overnight.


National Parks

Isalo National Park. The Ihorombe Region of Madagascar, in the province of Fianarantsoa, is home to this national park. Ranohira is the closest village, and Toliara and Ihosy are the closest cities. It is a sandstone environment that has been carved into rocky outcrops, plateaus, vast plains, and canyons up to 200 meters deep by wind and water erosion. There are various seasonal watercourses as well as permanent rivers and streams. The elevation ranges from 510 to 1268 meters. Isalo NP is home to fourteen different animal species.

Montagne d'Ambre National Park. It is a national park in Madagascar's Diana Region. The park's endemic flora and wildlife, as well as its waterfalls and crater lakes, are well-known. It is located 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) north of the capital, Antananarivo. It is one of Madagascar's most biologically varied areas, with 75 species of birds, 25 species of mammals, and 59 species of reptiles known to inhabit the park.

Tsingy De Bemaraha National Park. The Melaky Region, in northwest Madagascar, is home to this national park. The Great Tsingy and the Little Tsingy geological formations are at the heart of the national park. The National Park has been ranked as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the adjacent Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve. Because of the unique geomorphology of the Tsingy de Bemaraha World Heritage Site, which includes both the National Park and the adjacent Strict Nature Reserve, the site is home to a vast number of endemic plants and animal species that can only be found in tiny niches within the tsingys. For example, separate ecosystems occur at the summit, slope, and base of a tsingy's limestone needle, with various species clinging to their extremely steep slopes.


Beaches

Île aux Nattes. It's a little beach on an island off Madagascar's east coast, south of Île Sainte-Marie. Toamasina Province is home to both of them.


Landmarks

Avenue of the Baobabs. It's a grove of Grandidier's baobabs (Adansonia grandidieri) along the gravel road between Morondava and Belon'i Tsiribihina in western Madagascar's Menabe area. Its beautiful environment attracts visitors from all over the world, making it one of the region's most popular destinations. As a result, it has been a focal point for local conservation efforts. As a result, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests granted it temporary protected status in July 2007, paving the way for it to become Madagascar's first natural monument.


Museums

Andafiavaratra Palace. It was the palace of Prime Minister Rainilaiarivony of Madagascar, who led the island nation in the late 19th century, and is located on the tallest hilltop in Antananarivo's capital city. The structure now functions as a museum, housing the estimated 1,466 artifacts of historical significance to the Kingdom of Madagascar recovered from the Rova of Antananarivo fire in 1995.


Eat

Eating at a "hotely" or a market area is the cheapest way to have a meal. Simple meals consisting of a plate of rice, laoka (a Malagasy side dish), rice water, and a protein (chicken, beans, or pig) usually cost around 2000 Ariary (about $1) but can be as low as 500 Ariary. A small glass of handmade yogurt costs 200 ariary extra, and soups of all kinds, frequently with pasta, are also popular.


Drink

Because rum is significantly cheaper than beer, it is frequently consumed by the locals. Natural and not-so-natural juices are also readily available, with prices ranging from 5 to 10 euros a cup. Ranon'apango, or rice water, is another alcoholic beverage frequently served when dining at local establishments. When visiting remote locations, it's very vital to plan beforehand. It's a good idea to bring some chlorine tablets with you if the local water is unfit to drink. There's also home-brewed rum and creme de cocoa in a variety of tastes.


Tap-water

Faucet water here in Madagascar is not considered as readily safe for consumption. You will need to either boil it or add water purification tablets so as to increase its portability. This is especially the case in most cities in the country. On the other hand, bottled water is readily available. Bottled water in the country goes for between 30 to 60 eurocent per liter.


Activities

You can take sensational pictures at the best tourist sites in the country such as Tsingy Rouge and Lake Anosy. You can visit various museums in the country so as to learn about the rich history of the country and its people.


Accommodation

Chez Yolande. It has a restaurant and a sun deck in settlement of Ampangorinana on the island of Nosy Komba. The property is 200 meters from the Nosy Komba Plongee Scuba Diving Center. Some of the units in this eco-lodge have a balcony or terrace. Each unit has a private bathroom with complimentary toiletries. Towels are available. Breakfast is served in the restaurant, which is also open for lunch and supper and serves both local and international food. At the bar, guests can have a drink. Kayaks are available for guests to use for free. Various sports, such as snorkeling, diving, and fishing, are also available. The nearest airport is Fascene Airport, which is 15 kilometers away.

Bakuba Hotel. It is a hotel in Ankilibe that has a restaurant. In this lodge, you can use free Wi-Fi. You will have access to a patio from your lodging. Private bathrooms include a shower, as well as a bath or shower and bathrobes. From the room, you can see the sea and the garden. A shared lounge, tour services, and luggage store are also available at Bakuba Hotel. Parking is available for free at the premises.

Andasibe Lemurs Lodge. This accommodation facility has a restaurant, room service, bar, garden, outdoor pool, and terrace in Andasibe with garden views. The resort provides complimentary Wi-Fi as well as private parking. There is a private bathroom with a shower and complimentary toiletries. A continental breakfast is served to guests of Andasibe Lemurs Lodge. There is a water park on-site, and cycling and fishing may be done within walking distance of the hotel. Andasibe Lemurs Lodge is 1.7 kilometers distant, whereas Analamazaotra is 1.7 kilometers distant.

Masoandro Lodge. Masoandro Lodge is a hotel in Sainte Marie with an outdoor pool and a restaurant. In this lodge, you can use free Wi-Fi. Air conditioning will be available at your lodging. A shower is also included in the private bathroom. From the room, you can see the sea. A private beach area is available at Masoandro Lodge. A shared lounge and laundry facilities are among the other amenities available at the accommodation. Hiking is one of the many activities available on-site or in the nearby area. Parking is available for free at the premises.


Green Hotels

Hôtel Restaurant Coco Lodge Majunga. Hôtel Restaurant Coco Lodge Majunga is a 5-minute walk from Mahajanga Beach and features views of the Indian Ocean. There is an outdoor pool, a mini-market, and a restaurant at the hotel. Satellite TV, a minibar, and a safety deposit box are included in the air-conditioned rooms. Each private bathroom has a shower and complimentary toiletries. Guests can eat in the restaurant or relax at the bar. There is entertainment in the evening, a tour desk, and a massage service are all available at the hotel. In all sections of the hotel, there is free Wi-Fi. The Coco Lodge Majunga is located in the heart of Majahanga, only a 5-minute walk from the port. In addition, the hotel is 20 minutes from Amborovy Airport.

Nosy Lodge. Nosy Lodge offers lodgings with a restaurant, free private parking, an outdoor swimming pool, and a bar in Nosy Be, about 200 meters from Ambondrona Beach. The hotel has a garden and a terrace and is located 6.2 miles from Nosy Sakatia. Guests can take advantage of a 24-hour front desk, a shared lounge, and currency exchange services. The hotel's rooms include a private bathroom with a shower and complimentary toiletries, as well as free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is served either in continental or buffet style at Nosy Lodge. Hiking and cycling activities are popular in the area, and car rental is provided at the accommodations. The nearest airport is Fascene, which is 9.3 miles away, and Nosy Lodge provides a chargeable airport shuttle service.

Libertalia Hotel. Libertalia Hotel is located in Sainte Marie, and it is surrounded by lush tropical greenery. This attractive hotel offers an infinity pool that overlooks the ocean, as well as a restaurant and a bar where guests may enjoy a meal or a drink. For your convenience, some units feature a seating space. In some rooms, there is a terrace or balcony. Each room has a private bathroom with a bathtub or shower. Free Wi-Fi is available at the Libertalia Hotel. The hotel features a communal lounge, as well as a children's playground and a sun patio. On-site parking is available for a fee. There is a private beach area at this hotel, and bikes may be rented. Snorkeling and diving are prominent in the area.

Hotel Sarimanok. In Ambatoloaka, there is a restaurant, a bar, a communal lounge, and a garden. This hotel has family rooms as well as a terrace for guests to enjoy. A 24-hour front desk, airport shuttles, room service, and free Wi-Fi are available throughout the resort. Every room in the hotel has a desk, a flat-screen TV, and a private bathroom. A wardrobe and air conditioning are available in the rooms at Hotel Sarimanok. Every morning, the lodgings provide continental and à la carte breakfast options. Hiking and cycling are popular in the area, and car rental is offered at Hotel Sarimanok. Ambondrona Beach, Nosy Be Promenade Private Day Tours, and Scuba Nosy Be are some of the hotel's popular attractions. Fascene Airport, 9.3 miles from Hotel Sarimanok, is the closest airport.

Hotel Club Paradise. Hotel Club Paradise is located in Sainte Marie, 16 kilometers from Sainte Marie Island (Nosy Boraha), and features a restaurant, free private parking, an outdoor swimming pool, and a bar. The 2-star hotel's rooms all have sea views, and guests have access to a garden and a private beach area. Family rooms are available at the motel. Rooms at the hotel have a wardrobe. All rooms at Hotel Club Paradise include a desk and a private bathroom. A continental breakfast is available to guests at the hotel. A patio is available at Hotel Club Paradise. The hotel has table tennis, as well as bike and car rental. The nearest airport is Sainte Marie, which is 1.9 miles away, and Hotel Club Paradise provides a free airport shuttle service.


Hostels and Guest Houses

Cambria Hotel. Cambria Hotel is located in Nosy Be, 16 kilometers from Nosy Sakatia, and features a lawn and free private parking. Guests can utilize room service, a concierge service, and currency exchange. Each room at the guest home has a desk, a flat-screen TV, and a private bathroom. In addition, the rooms of the Cambria Hotel have a seating area. A continental or à la carte breakfast is available at the hotel. The nearest airport is Fascene, which is 11 kilometers away, and Cambria Hotel provides a chargeable airport shuttle service.

Maison d'Hôtes Mandrosoa. It is 2.2 kilometers from Tsimbazaza Zoo in Antananarivo. A seating area is available in some rooms for your comfort. Views of the pool or garden are available in specific units. This resort offers free Wi-Fi as well as free private parking. Every morning, a simple breakfast is offered. The property has a communal kitchen. The guest house also provides automobile rental services. The nearest airport is Ivato Airport, which is 13 kilometers away.

Edena Kely. Edena Kely offers accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, an outdoor swimming pool, and a bar in Mahajanga, 11 kilometers from Jardin d'Amour Mahajanga. The 3-star guest house features air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi and private bathrooms, as well as a garden. Evening entertainment is provided, as well as a 24-hour front desk. The rooms at the guest house contain a desk and a flat-screen TV. There is a wardrobe in each room. Edena Kely has a playground for kids. Table tennis is available at the hotel, and car rental is provided. Edena Kely offers an ironing service in addition to business services such as faxing and photocopying. The nearest airport is Amborovy, which is 3 kilometers away, and the guest home provides a free airport shuttle service.

La Case Sakalava. La Case Sakalava, located in Nosy-Be, has a restaurant. There is free Wi-Fi access. You will have a terrace in each of your rooms. A shower is also included in the private bathroom. From the room, you can see the sea and the garden. A sofa, an outside seating area, and a safety deposit box are among the amenities. A 24-hour front desk, a garden, and a terrace are available at La Case Sakalava. A communal lounge, a tour desk, and baggage storage are among the other amenities available at the facility. Cycling and hiking are just a few of the activities available on-site or in the surrounding area. Parking is available for free at the premises.

Villa Violette. Villa Violette is located in Ambatoloaka, 2.6 kilometers from Ambondrona Beach, and features a casino, BBQ facilities, and mountain views. An eatery, a 24-hour front desk, and a communal kitchen are among the amenities available at this accommodation, which also offers free Wi-Fi. Guests can use the communal lounge, ATM, and currency exchange at the hotel. Air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a kettle, a shower, a hairdryer, and a wardrobe are included in every room. The guest house's rooms have a private bathroom and a view of the city. Scuba Nosy Be, Nosy Be Promenade Private Day Tours, and Les Baleines Rand'eau are all popular places to visit close to the hotel. Fascene Airport, 15 kilometers from Villa Violette, is the nearest airport. A sun patio is available at Villa Violette.


Apartments

Center Point. In Diego Suarez, 1.4 miles from Tropical Garden Diego Suarez, this apartment offers city views, free Wi-Fi, and free private parking. The accommodation comes with a balcony, air conditioning, a flat-screen TV, and a private bathroom shower. There is a patio in the flat. At Center Point, a car rental service is provided. The lodging is 2.5 kilometers from Port Antsiranana. Area chart Airport is 7 kilometers away, and the resort provides a complimentary airport shuttle service.

The Streamliner Hotel Apartment. The Streamliner Hotel Apartment in Toamasina has a restaurant, an outdoor pool, a fitness center, a bar, and a communal lounge with garden views. Free Wi-Fi and private parking are available at the aparthotel. Each air-conditioned unit comes with a flat-screen TV, a living room with a sofa, a well-equipped kitchen with a dining area, and a private bathroom with a shower, hairdryer, and complimentary toiletries. There's also a microwave, a fridge, and an oven, as well as a kettle. Each morning, The Streamliner Hotel Apartment serves a continental breakfast. Guests are welcome to use the Turkish bath and spa center located on the premises. The Streamliner Hotel Apartment offers vehicle rental services. The aparthotel is 33 kilometers from Betampona Reserve, while the Club Nautique et de Tennis is 2.6 kilometers away. The Streamliner Hotel Apartment is 5 kilometers from Toamasina Airport, and the facility provides a chargeable airport shuttle service.

L'antafa. L'antafa features a restaurant and pub and is located in Ambondrona, on the island of Nosy Be, about 350 meters from Palm Beach. The units at l'antafa provide self-catering accommodations with a private entrance, a fan, a dining area, and a private bathroom. The apartment contains a kitchen and a seating space with a sofa. There is a garden at l'antafa, and visitors can rest on their terrace with garden views. Cycling, tennis, and snorkeling are some of the nearby activities. Free parking is available, and Wi-Fi is provided for a fee.


Couchsurfing

Many host families here in Madagascar are usually very willing to host strangers into their house. There are various sites that you will need to check out so as to get authentic couchsurfing services in Madagascar.


Camping

Hotel LA Plantation. Some flats additionally include a kitchenette with a refrigerator. A continental or à la carte breakfast is available to guests at this campground. A terrace is available at the campsite. Guests can unwind in the property's garden.


Regions

There are 7 major regions in Madagascar. These regions are:

Analamanga

Atsinanana

Vakinankaratra

Boeny

Haute Matsiatra

Atsimo-Andrefana

Diana


Cities

Antananarivo. It is Madagascar's capital city, located in the island's Central Highlands. From the 17th century, the Rova of Antananarivo castle complex, which overlooks the city, was the center of the Merina monarchy. There are wooden buildings and royal graves in this area. In the adjacent Haute Ville area, the pink baroque Andafiavaratra Palace may be found. Jacaranda trees in the city center surround the heart-shaped Lake Anosy.

Mahajanga. It is a port city on Madagascar's north coast. The coastal Corniche leads to a giant baobab tree and is lined with palm trees and street-food kiosks. The city's coast is studded with restaurants and beaches, notably Plage du Grand Pavois. The Cirque Rouge is a nearby canyon with dramatic red cliffs. The lighthouse at Katsepy village, located across Bombetoka Bay, provides panoramic views.

Toamasina. This city, sometimes known as Tamatave, is a port city on Madagascar's east coast. Its old town quarter contains stilted Creole buildings. A deteriorating colonial palace may be found in Place Bien Aimé, a vast park covered by banyan trees. Independence Avenue is a broad, palm-lined boulevard that leads to a beachfront promenade. The University of Toamasina Regional Museum has archeological items and traditional tools on display.

Antsirabe. It is the capital of Madagascar's Vakinankaratra region, which is located in the central highlands. It's a famous resort town with many colorful rickshaws and hot springs. The city's French colonial buildings comprise Hôtel des Thermes fitted with a grand facade. Stalls at the souk-like, outdoor Sabotsy Market deal in the sale of clothes and farm produce. Large Lake Andraikiba is located just west of the city.

Toliara. It is the capital of the Atsimo-Andrefana region, which lies 936 kilometers southwest of Antananarivo, the country's capital. The current spelling of the name was adopted in the 1970s, and it reflects the Malagasy language's orthography. Following Malagasy independence in 1960, many geographic place names that had been given French spellings during the colonial period were changed. In 2018, the city had a population of 168,758 people. It is a key import/export hub for commodities like sisal, soap, hemp, cotton, rice, and peanuts because it is a port town.

Othet cities in Madagascar are:

Fianarantsoa

Antsiranana


Getting There and Moving Around

The easiest way to see Madagascar is to hire a car with a driver or take a guided trip. Car rentals frequently include a driver as part of the package, giving you the most freedom with your travel plans. On the other hand, Tours usually cover the cost of lodging and some or all meals, but you must adhere to a strict schedule and travel with other tourists. There are some public transportation choices, but they are slow, inconvenient, and dangerous. Traveling by plane can be organized for lengthier excursions between specific towns. To reach the island, passengers must fly into Antananarivo's Ivato International Airport (TNR) or travel by cruise ship to different Malagasy destinations, including Antsiranana, Nosy Be, and Tamatave, with cruise lines such as Costa Cruises and MSC Cruises.


Air

Ivato International Airport in Antananarivo is Madagascar's principal international airport. In addition, air Madagascar serves the island's numerous small regional airports, which provide the only viable method of access to many of the island's more distant areas when roads are washed away during the rainy season. There are 29 paved runways and 104 unpaved runways at these airports. Planes are a convenient way to get about Madagascar, mainly if you're situated in Antananarivo. Air Madagascar and Madagasikara Airways are the only two airlines that travel year-round, yet flying has its limitations. Domestic carriers frequently delay and cancel flights, daily options are often restricted, and rates are not inexpensive — full-priced one-way tickets should cost at least $269. Seniors, minors, and individuals between the ages of 18 and 27 can buy discounted tickets; travelers who fly Air Madagascar overseas can also get cheaper domestic flights.


Bus

Madagascar's roads are mostly unpaved, and many become unusable during the rainy season. The six most significant regional towns are connected to Antananarivo by largely paved national roads, with secondary paved and unpaved highways providing access to additional population centers in each district.


Train

Madagascar has a number of rail routes and stations. By rail, Antananarivo is connected to Toamasina, Ambatondrazaka, and Antsirabe, and Fianarantsoa is connected to Manakara. Madarail has a concession on the northern railway (TCE). The Fianarantsoa-Côte-Est railway (FCE) is a parastatal line in the south.


Hitchhiking

Hitchhiking is an easy endeavor here in Madagascar. The citizens are quite friendly and won't mind helping another person out. While hitching, you will be able to interact with locals at a more personal level. This is a great opportunity to exchange some bit of culture amongst yourselves.


Others

Toamasina, on Madagascar's east coast, is home to the country's most major seaport. Because of their remoteness, the ports of Toliara, Mahajanga, and Antsiranana are substantially less used. Rio Tinto's mining project in Tôlanaro, which was completed in 2008 and is privately run, will bring the island's newest port, Port d'Ehola, under state administration after the company's mining project at Tôlanaro is completed around 2038. Toamasina Autonomous Port is the country's main cargo port. The comparatively short rivers of Madagascar are usually only of local importance; pirogues navigate isolated streams and small sections of Lakandranon' Ampangalana (Canal des Pangalanes). Along the west coast, there are coastal intercity transportation routes.


Sustainable Shopping

Malagasy's eye for colors and patterns drew her in first, followed by her desire to promote sustainable fashion. She met with hundreds of artisan organizations, all of whom shared the same goal: to bring their products to the worldwide market. Brandstetter and her Madagascar team teamed together with designer Elizabeth Randlett to develop magnificent goods made from environmentally friendly materials.

Mar Y Sol pays fair pricing for our products from the concept stage to the finished product and treats our craftspeople as partners. We make every effort to obtain our raw materials sustainably and only use what is readily available in Madagascar. We don't consider artists to be solely a labor force. Without teamwork, none of what Mar Y Sol has accomplished would be feasible. Outside of our staff, we've worked with hundreds of community groups and organizations in the capital city to give international market, product development, and export-ready training. We've worked on projects involving clean water, education, and environmental activities. We continue to try to find out how to have the most significant impact.


Recycling

An ecobrick is a non-degradable waste-filled PET plastic bottle that may be used to create anything from a seat to a house to a garden wall! The ecobrick Project strives to make the world a cleaner place by reducing the quantity of non-biodegradable garbage discarded, and we hope to do so so that future generations will be inspired to safeguard the environment. EcoBricks are simple to construct, decrease plastic waste, provide excellent thermal insulation and are safer than standard building materials in the event of infrastructure failure. So far in 2015, Project EcoBrick has collaborated with staff and students at Le Petit Chatenay School to build four benches.


Waste

UNICEF (2011) estimates that fewer than half of the municipal waste (or garbage) produced in Madagascar each year is collected. Only 3.5 percent of this is composted, leaving 405,173 tons to be deposited in landfills. Uncollected waste (about 419,000 tons per year) is left in the environment untreated, producing major hygienic issues as well as environmental damage.


Work and Study Abroad

Expats and investors have already noticed the potential of Madagascar to be an economic hub and they have already started streaming into the country. They target the best cities, including the capital Antananarivo. It is in these cities that business opportunities are found or can be easily created. The United Nations has also set up various entities in the country so as to facilitate its operations in the country and the region. These entities are:

OHCHR

IFAD

FAO

IOM

ILO

IAEA

IMF


Exchange Student

Madagascar has a good number of institutions of higher learning where both local and international studies can further their studies. Some of these institutions are:

University of Antananarivo. It is Madagascar's principal public university, located in the capital, Antananarivo. The institution dates back to the creation of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Antananarivo on December 16, 1955. It became the country's principal institution for higher education, and in 1961 it was renamed the University of Madagascar. It eventually expanded to Antsiranana, Fianarantsoa, Toamasina, Toliara, and Mahajanga, with five additional branches. The University of Antananarivo operates the Museum of Arts and Archaeology. It has two regional branches: the Institute of Higher Education of Soavinandriana Italy and the Institute of Higher Education of Antsirabe Vakinankaratra.

The University of Toamasina. This is a public university in Madagascar's Toamasina. The university is located at Barikadimy, which is west of Toamasina, the capital of Atsinanana on Madagascar's east coast. The university, along with public universities in Antananarivo, Antsiranana, Mahajanga, Toliara, and Fianarantsoa, was once part of the University of Madagascar system. The system was restructured in 1988, and the member schools became independent organizations.

The University of Toliara. It is the oldest higher education institution in Madagascar, having been established in 1971 following the decentralization of the University of Madagascar. The institution is located in Maninday, 5 kilometers east of Toliara, the capital of Atsimo-Andrefana, on Madagascar's southwest coast. Humanities and Social Science, Science, Philosophy, and Management are all taught at this university (the latter located next to the Cedratom). The Faculty of Teacher Training (ENS) and Institute of Agriculture and Hydrology (IST) of the University of Toliara is currently collaborating with the NGO Big Red Earth to investigate educational innovations in the fields of agriculture, civic engagement, and sustainable development.

The Catholic University of Madagascar. In addition, it is a private university in Madagascar's capital, Antananarivo. It began as an institute within the Antananarivo Major Seminary in 1960 and eventually became an autonomous institute. In 2000, the Malagasy government granted it accreditation, and in 2011, it was given its current name.


Au Pair

Many people here in Madagascar have gone through training and acquired skills to be nannies. Most of them have enrolled in various institutions in the country and have acquired the necessary skills. They would like to work as nannies, specifically in the most developed cities in the country.


Volunteering

World Wildlife Fund Madagascar. Local programs led by WWF Madagascar determine the locations. For three months, you'll be part of a group of six or seven volunteers assisting local staff with project implementation in Madagascar, often in remote but beautiful locations. Experiences related to reef or biodiversity protection are sure to be one-of-a-kind and unforgettable. You will learn about the Malagasy way of life as well as the inherent compassion of the locals.

Promoting marine ecotourism with Cetamada. This is an excellent example of eco-volunteering, whether you are seeking for an internship or wish to volunteer. Cetamada is a local organization based on the island of Sainte Marie that works to develop sustainable ecotourism, scientific research, and marine conservation. It was founded in 2009. As a result, volunteers have the opportunity to witness humpback whales up close during the whale-watching season in July, which is a dream come true for whale-lovers.

Madagascar Research and Conservation Institute (MRCI). This non-profit organization was created in 2003 by a South African investor and has received local government funding to achieve its goals. You have a wide range of options, including forest or turtle conservation, community English teaching, and development. Based on the island of Nosy Komba in the northwestern Indian Ocean, you will reside in a recognized luxury tourism destination — one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Coral reef protection with Blue Ventures. Join an award-winning dive excursion in Madagascar to help wildlife in a magnificent setting while diving with colorful fish and deep, clear water. The slogan of Blue Ventures tells it all: "discovery via study." This adventure takes place in the small town of Andavadoaka, in the Vezo region of southwest Madagascar, where community conservation and coastal management programs are underway. Since 2000, this British NGO has worked in Madagascar, and it was the first to assist in creating a Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA) for residents.


See Also